A police officer adopts the child of a homeless lady he met while on patrol.

While on patrol in 2017, Jesse Whitten of the Santa Rosa Police Department in California encountered a homeless pregnant lady.

He had no idea that a year later he would be the father of the kid she was carrying.

Whitten, who was 33 at the time, was asked if he and his wife would adopt the baby’s mother’s child. The adoption was finalized in August of 2018.

Whitten met Harlow’s biological mother while she was still pregnant with her three daughters, Reese, Kendall, and Stella. Aside from being homeless, the woman was battling drug addiction.

“In an odd manner, we built a friendship,” Whitten told KTVU. “We’d have a talk whenever I encountered her on patrol and dealt with her.”

Ashley Whitten, his wife, came along for a ride-along one day. That’s when she first encountered the homeless woman.

“When my wife saw the woman was pregnant, she placed my wife’s palm on her belly to feel who is now our daughter,” Whitten explained.

The officer offered to take the woman, who was in her late 30s, to the shelter. At one point, he even drove her to a detox and rehab facility. But no matter how many times she attempted, she was always unsuccessful.

The mother gave birth to a baby girl on February 9, 2018. Harlow, unfortunately, was born with heroin in her bloodstream.

Because the mother was clearly unable to parent, the county asked whether she wanted to arrange Harlow’s emergency placement in foster care. Instead, she requested that they contact Whitten.

On Valentine’s Day, while their family was at a party, the officer received the call. Although the woman had previously inquired if he and his wife would be willing to adopt her child, the officer wasn’t sure whether she was genuine. As it turned out, she meant it.

The parents left their girls with their pastor that night and traveled to the hospital to see the newborn. They first went to the birth mother’s chamber to establish her intentions.

“We asked ourselves, ‘Are you asking us to keep her forever?'”

And she was saying, ‘I want you to have her for the rest of your life.'” Whitten remembered.

They brought Harlow home four days later and became her foster parents for six months. Meanwhile, the mom remained resolute in her choice to give her child away.

“She said she wants her to grow up in a caring and nice family, and she’d met both of us,” Whitten explained.

On August 30, 2018, the couple officially adopted the infant in front of their children, friends, and coworkers.

When the judge asked the three girls if they wanted Harlow to be their sister, they all said “yes.” It was a joyous occasion for everyone present.

Harlow Maisey’s middle name was given by her biological mother, and the Whittens kept it as a way to honor her.

Harlow Maisey’s middle name was given by her biological mother, and the Whittens kept it as a way to honor her.

“This is to say, ‘She loved you and we loved you and we both named you,’” Whitten explained.

This experience inspired the couple to continue advocating for foster children.

“Through our experience, we are so sure that no child is broken and they don’t need us to fix them,” Ashley said. “They just need love.”

Despite already having three children of their own, this couple opened their hearts and home to this baby. What an amazing family!

Click on the video below for more on this story.

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A police officer adopts the child of a homeless lady he met while on patrol.
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